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Conducting foreign policy on martyrdom

Published Dec 02, 2011 04:01pm


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When patriotism rules the minds, thinking faculties take the backseat. Patriotism, like religion, is a conviction based on a belief system which cannot be reasoned with. It’s the biggest, all-pervasive cult that entire nation states are besotted with, some to the point of no redemption — and there is no distinction between democratic and undemocratic polities whilst succumbing to patriotism. In the US and in India, for instance, patriotism overrides all else; it is a consistent state of mind through which everything else must be seen and judged. In countries like Iran, Syria and North Korea, autocratic regimes fan patriotic sentiment to show to the world how their people are behind government policies.

In Pakistan, patriotism is an organised affair, managed and overseen by state institutions through their beneficiaries, lackeys and the right wing lobby as and when the need arises. We have a long history of patriotism of the negative variety only, which oscillates between anti-India and anti-US/West rhetoric.

There is hardly anything positive about Pakistani patriotism; it relies mainly on condemnation of the enemy, real or perceived. Once such rhetoric starts it assumes larger than life proportions; everyone everywhere feels obliged to chip in with their own vent of anger until the brinkmen calling the shots decide that tactical results have been achieved. Whilst the fit lasts, nothing can hold back its fury, not even genuine national interest.

The way Pakistan has reacted to the killing of 24 soldiers by Nato air strikes is the most recent case in point, following the Memogate scandal. Granted it’s intolerable and unacceptable that our so-called allies should attack our army posts, but while our military is able to take armed assaults on the GHQ and the Mehran Naval Base from home-grown militants with some calm, western forces attacking our soldiers is somehow much more outrageous. Similarly, hundreds killed in American drone attacks, mostly terrorists, is more disgraceful than over 20,000 civilian lives lost, including those of women and children, in terrorist attacks on shrines, mosques, schools and in the bazaars. Were those not the sons and daughters of Pakistan, who were killed not in the line of duty defending their country on remote hilltops but whilst going about their daily, innocent routine in our cities? They were not even in the war zone, where bloody accidents can happen.

One is not saying that the latest Nato attack was an accident or a terrible miscalculation on the part of the foreign troops and their Afghan hosts, because if truth be told under these charged up conditions, we don’t really know that. The inflexible reaction shown by the ISPR tells us that it has totally rejected such an explanation and called the assault deliberate. The government too has stood firmly behind the armed forces’ stand on the issue, and the media just picked up the story and ran with it, with war songs blaring from TV sets and anchors baying for enemy blood. Cable operators have done their bit for the country and taken western news channels off the air. Under whose orders and under what rules and regulations, no one is willing to ask.

Is this a well thought out stance, especially when an inquiry into the air strikes is underway across the border? Even if it is held that the Nato attack was not a mistake but a deliberate move, it has to be asked what was Nato’s motive behind attacking Pakistan Army check posts? If the motive was to pit the Pakistan Army against the foreign troops based in Afghanistan and make that an excuse to extend the theatre of war into Pakistani territory, then the sinister mind that cast the bait must now feel vindicated because we have taken the bait.

Nato supplies have been cut off from Pakistan and the US has been told to vacate the Shamsi air base in Balochistan, perhaps a fitting response to the provocation, but what is next, you may well ask. Where do we go from here? When nations become angry, they behave like the individuals who run them, and this isn’t the best frame of mind in which to rush to conclusions and take action. The past 10 years show us that the hubris displayed by the US in its ‘war on terror’, whose battle cry is vengeance, is not the way to go, because it has got them nowhere. Is that the destination Pakistan also wants to embark upon?

A saner response would have been to use the Bonn conference to put across Pakistan’s point of view much more aggressively to convince the world that Pakistanis have borne the brunt of this war which is going nowhere. A forceful argument based on logic would perhaps still work better than the knee-jerk reaction shown so far. Islamabad should reconsider boycotting the Bonn moot and not opt for diplomatic isolation by being absent from it. Being absent from Bonn can lead to further estrangement from the international community that can spill over to the economic and military domains — a spectre Pakistanis can ill-afford to grapple with on their own, all alone.

It is time to save Pakistan from international isolation even as we damn Nato and demand retribution for the outrageous attack on our border check posts. The soldiers died in the line of duty in a war zone defending their country, which was their job, and have been duly and rightfully honoured. It would be wrong to conduct foreign policy on their martyrdom.


The writer is a member of the staff at Dawn Newspaper.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (90) Closed

Kesar Dec 02, 2011 02:37pm
A food for thought for people with some grey matter.
Imran Dec 02, 2011 03:37pm
I am sick and tired of people asking " OK we've cut the NATO supplies and closed Shamsi and boycotted Bonn, what next?" You are missing the point completely. Dont you see? These are unprecedented steps. No-one has ever taken these before. NATO probably has supplies for a few weeks. Let them dry out then it will start to hurt. Then they will tone down their rhetoric and arrogance. Suddenly Obama will also feel sorry. We've done our bit. Just sit back and wait for the consequences. This is a process, let it happen.
shahnawaz Dec 02, 2011 03:38pm
The soldiers died in the line of duty in a war zone defending their country, which was their job, and have been duly and rightfully honoured. It would be wrong to conduct foreign policy on their martyrdom.
Kashif Dec 02, 2011 03:40pm
Well Written and reflects the view of masses in our country. Unfortunately, our Military wants to exploit this incident to get more arms & Government more money as an aid. Rightly said that Civilian dies everyday in Pakistan by Drones and no one bother to report the names. A Country where 6000 people were killed in Karachi and still no one was accounted for it, where half of the country was torn and separated in 70s but no inquiry was done against responsible & many dies everyday in Drones or Sectarian Violence or for no reason.
Pasha Dec 02, 2011 04:00pm
Very well written. Unfortunately majority of the Pakistani would not agree with it. Instead they'd like to burn the USA flags and eat grass as usual. Pakistani zindabad.
Syed Dec 02, 2011 04:07pm
I will like to know your definition of autocratic regime and your definition of Islamic regime ?
murassa sanaullah Dec 02, 2011 04:09pm
we should not have boycotted Bonn cnferance but should have fought diplomatic war in Bonn,.
Syed Dec 02, 2011 04:12pm
A saner response does not come from words. Words have a tendency to be heard when we talk to people who will never hear. A sane person is the one who does not get bitten twice. It would have been the biggest mistake to put the human beings in Paradise before showing them their true face.
Naqi Dec 02, 2011 04:19pm
Already isolated i fear. it is opportune time to show anger if any future honorable partnership is sought!!!!
venu Dec 02, 2011 04:31pm
very good article. hope some higher up in govt and army understand your point
Salim Mayar Dec 02, 2011 04:40pm
the last attack may show unwillingness of the united state to stay for a long time in this region in this critical juncture,that the grand assembly suggested the afghan government to sign a strategic deal with US. the may be feigning an excuse that our supply line to support our troops is cut off by Pakistan,there for we dont want to stay after 2014.
Fazal Dec 02, 2011 04:45pm
Very nicely written. It is people like this writer who while devoid of any shame them self also want others to behave like them. How much longer is Pakistan supposed to act like a slave? How much longer will we allow ourselves to be humiliated like this? We have done the right thing by boycotting Bonn and much more needs to follow.
asif Dec 02, 2011 04:52pm
well written!!!!!!!!! the first part logical and needs attention, but murtaza for ur second line of argument is a bit week as Pakistan's voice on international forums is rarely gvn much joining Bonn wouldn't have been fruitful the boycott is ok somewhat. reason with a bit of passion may do.
Adnan Anwar Dec 02, 2011 04:57pm
I wonder , if PAF had been scrambled in time and one or two NATO gunships were indeed shotdown. Then if the Americans GI's were killed, the situation would have been worse but then would the world view the incident as Americans got attacked not Americans were attacking someone.
kanak Dec 02, 2011 05:07pm
A very sensible article. Anger takes one to no where and this has been amply proven by American war in Iraq and Afghanistan. After defeating Saddam Hussain, the US could have handed over power to Iraqis and asked their army to assist them. They did not but disbanded the army and continued to fight an invisible enemy and there was no WMD thus punishing ordinary Iraqis.. Similarly in Afghanistan they could have agreed to Mullah Omar's plea to hand over Osama to a fellow Islamic country and then moved for punishment to him but they have punished Afghans in the process. Pakistani rulers have always looked for short term benefits and have never taken a stand on national interest. Thousands killed are not an issue but the 24 army personnel killed is a global issue now.
Johar Dec 02, 2011 05:47pm
All said well.
Jayan Dec 02, 2011 05:52pm
Well said and very realistic assessment of the situation. I cannot agree more with the author
Rao Dec 02, 2011 06:03pm
Well said; You can take pride in saying that Pakistanis like yourself can twist the tail of a superpower or slap its face. Let us see what happens next!
Khan Dec 02, 2011 06:12pm
I am surprised and shocked at your mentality for comparing the NATO attack with that of Mehran base/ GHQ. The later was carried out by elements who have already declared a war on pakistan and indulge in such attackts whenever it is feasible. However, NATO has not at war with Pakistan in fact they are our "allies". I do agree with that point that are lives of soldiers more important than the lives of civilians killed in drone attacks.
raika45 Dec 02, 2011 06:18pm
Who fights for your nation?Are they sons of millionaires,politicians,your film stars or your big time businessmen?Your fighters are ordinary people.Your politicians and army brass with THEIR ideas use them as cannon fodder to attain their goals.These people will make a deal with the devil to attain their goals.Today you have some two dozen dead and even their death is being milled to the hilt.Does any one care of the dead they left behind?You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.Your army must make up it's mind.A week or so the dead will be history.So it goes.It is time the people demand answers from the powers to be.You deserve that much.Ask them what do they want and what are they up to.
G.A. Dec 02, 2011 06:19pm
I think the writer has confused nationalism with patriotism. Regardless, Pakistan should leave the supply line open and let the Americans fight this war to exhaustion so their military does not become a nuisance to the world anymore. In the meantime, do not take the bait from NATO. The phrase "Keep the water hot but do not let it boil' is what was used to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.
farooq Dec 02, 2011 06:25pm
enough is enough it was high time we called spade a spade have we forgotten how turkey reacted to 9/11 & marvi marva & Iran to the hostile wests attitude towards them. No consequene is greater than HONOR. DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR nO ONE BIG OR SMALL SHOULD TAKE US FOR GRANTED .Allah helps those who help themselves 7 it is high time we stop behaving like slaves kowtowing to US & THE WEST. nOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO US IF WE DONT ATTEND BONN or any west's bondage PAKISTAN MY PASSION ZINDABAD ALLAH O AKBAR
GKN Dec 02, 2011 06:27pm
Evidently for Mr. Razvi, word 'sovereignty' is an alien concept. 24 soldiers dead & we are supposed to keep our mouths shut. If by chance, an American Helicopter was shot down, straight away Obama administration would have labeled us terrorism collaborators.
KMR Overseas Dec 02, 2011 06:29pm
Now big question, What is the use of Pakistan's nuke arsenal?
Khurram Dec 02, 2011 06:37pm
I would like to ask the writer to please advise how the Americans would have responded had these 24 soldiers would be their soldiers? Nato has enough technology to determine the border line between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It would be there tremendous incompetence If they're still not sure 10 years since the start of the war. If we wouldn't do we did, then the next attack will be even more devastating? I think they're testing Pakistani response time and magnitude. In addition, the support level for the military within the country from different areas and the closeness between Pakistani political setup and the armed forces. We need to pass this test. No country tolerates this type of miscalculation. 24 is a big number to swallow.
KMR Overseas Dec 02, 2011 06:42pm
RAF couldn't reach beacuse NATO shutoff all Pakistani communications??!
Fakharuddin Dec 02, 2011 06:47pm
dont agree
Tinnee Dec 02, 2011 06:55pm
Dawn Group funded by Amercian's, and its writers constantly demoralizing the people of Pakistan. About the last column on his article, I would ask him this question, what if the one of the Shaheed was his own son. What will be your thinking then.
Tariq Dec 02, 2011 07:00pm
I don't understand why everybody keeps saying that only Pakistan can bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Why does the world assume that Pakistan has so much influence with Mullah Omar that we can force him to make a deal. Have your Bonn conference. Leave us out of it. We will decide what kind of relations to have with Afghanistan after NATO leaves and some sort of government (Taliban or otherwise) emerges in Afghanistan. US and NATO can leave and go home. We have to live on with the Afghans as our Neighbors. Our interests via a vis Afghanistan are not the same as those of the US and NATO.
Basit Dec 02, 2011 07:00pm
We have been demonstrating our commitment to this so-called "war on terror" on various international forums... but has anyone heard, let alone take action on the thousands of civilian deaths and the sufferings of the Pakistani people? No... Pakistani point of view is not only taken non-seriously.. but as whining.... rightly so... our soil has been used to fund the nato machinery in Afghanistan, which means we have our hands in the blood of every innocent afghani.... the action i believe is late... but better late than never... there will be a 100 more pointless US interest focused conferences... we should know our enemy from our friend...
Andy Singh Dec 02, 2011 07:07pm
USA can send supplies through Central Asia. Obama won't feel sorry, even though Pakistan is an ally. Obama will rather use his time to defend US interests than placate Pakistan.
Tariq Dec 02, 2011 07:13pm
You are the very definition of the arrogant Pakistani with a small mind and big delusions. Do you really think that a superpower will put itself in a position to be blackmailed by Pakistan by not having a back-up plan for bringing them supplies. Think again.
Kausar Najam Dec 02, 2011 07:16pm
A fool's discourse without any sound reasoning. There was no knee jerk reaction. Pakistani jets did not respond, Pakistan army did not fire artillery at NATO positions or carry out a raid across the border at their posts. We simply severed their supply line and boycotted Bonn Confrence through a legitimate and recognized democratic process. I don't see any knee jerking here or perhaps it takes a jerk to see it. Bonn Confrence is nothing but a sham process to give US & NATO an exit where Pakistan's role is nothing but to try whatever influence it may have to pacify militants. US gets to keep a base in Afghanistan to watch over China and continues to support a sham Govt in Kabul. I see no wisdom in going weeping to Bonn. Also downplaying the death of soldiers and trying to play it against the death of civilian victims of drone and suicide attacks is but a sinister logic meant to appeal to those who want to see themselves as rational unemotional thinkers beyond the ordinary mortals.
mehmoona Dec 02, 2011 07:20pm
i disagree with your first statement''when patriotism takes the front seat thinking faculties take the backseat '' patriotism itself is a very positive emotion that builds up nations...the problem is not with patriotism the problem is with the abuse of it , like the way religion is abused , like the way democracy is abused,like the way justice is is a positive emotion which in the hands of the crafty can be for the lives that were lost it is not that some lives are worth more or some lives worth is what importance it represents in the affairs of the state....a president worth in terms of humanity may amount to nothing but he/she represents a country and an attack on him has wider connotations...similarly in the case of raymond davis thieves who tried to rob raymond davies were killed yet how much was paid as ''blood money'' to their relatives...our soldiers were not living amongst taliban that their identity was mistaken .it is not simply the tragedy of their death but its wide ranging connotations that are disturbing even more disturbing is the fact of the awareness of these implications
Raman Dec 02, 2011 07:22pm
Why, I ask? As an Indian I ask why in Pakistan, we do not have sane mind like that of Mr. Murtaza Razvi. During these anxious times, we need more reasonable mind, calculated, calibrated and thoughtful person(s) like him. My initial response to that tragedy across the loosely defined Durand line was that Pakistan missed an opportunity by needlessly climbing atop the pole from which it cannot come down! Comedown, it must sooner than later and lot is riding on it and its citizen. Remember that in tough situation always give yourself enough space to come out of the conundrum! Hope some lessons are honed. Bravo Mr. Razvi, for your brave column.
Syed Umair Javed Dec 02, 2011 07:22pm
One can always do things better in hindsight. Having said that, the very notion that we always remain flexible in our reaction is the same idea that has brought us to our current situation. What you are saying is just making the slippery slope more slippery. I think not going to the Bonn Conference is an extremely good idea. The conference is a sham without Pakistan and it will tell the world that we mean business when red lines are crossed. In the real politik world, one who does not stand up for himself is no one at all. After a decade of complete and utter servitude, we need to ask ourselves: how much further are we willing to go being slaves. For the first time, I see signs that we are ready to break the shackles. Thank god for that. And if that means being emotional, so be it. Its a rational choice we should be willing to take.
sarmad Dec 02, 2011 07:23pm
A great insight on patriotism, three glaring examples can be cited from history. Hitler killed millions of people by exploiting patriotic sentiments of the Germans. In 1971 when Pakistan’s establishment denied majority party right to rule, they took refuge under the patriotic sentiments in West Pakistan. Overwhelmed under the patriotism soon “crush India” slogan were echoed in the streets of West Pakistan. We lost East Pakistan in mere 14 days of war. Soon after 9/11, patriotic sentiments were running high in USA. On rightist channels like Fox it was hard to speak against war theories of Bush administration. Any difference of opinion was coming under the similar question like we use to ask in Pakistan“is it patriotism”. Soon after America invaded Iraq on the backing of whole nation and millions of people were killed. Now when patriotism is low, everyone is discovering that it was a wrong war which was fought for a wrong purpose. Patriotism is a diseases, a sickness and an exploitative tool. Unfortunately we can see it is running high in the street of Pakistan. Our establishment is trying to run our foreign policy on the street emotions. If history is of any use then God forbid we may end up having a loss.
mehmoona Dec 02, 2011 07:34pm
when murders occur their victums are rightfully honoured and buried by their relatives but that is not the end of things.there is something called justice that civilised societies ascribe to...this common arugument in pakistan that soldiers in pakistan are paid to die is strikingly insensitive....nobody human is willing to die for 7000rupees which is 70-80 US dollars apprx. the country expects a soldier to his job 100% while with a doctor, enginer , politician and bureaucrate,labourer its ok if he even gives it 10-20% of his best and loot and destroy the country in doing so ... is that double standards or simple prejudice
Zeeshan Ahmad Dec 02, 2011 07:41pm
It is easy to lecture when you're not the victim. And very harder to provide the solution.
Suresh M (London) Dec 02, 2011 07:42pm
Well written, eye opener for many people.
Adeel Dec 02, 2011 08:07pm
Would you say the same if your son was lost on the line of duty? We have to stop counting on the international community and have faith in ALLAH SAW , he is the one who is sustainer of everyone , when will we realise that we have to stand on our own feet , how much more blood you wanna sell for $$$ , I would rather die for dignity rather then humiliation. Nuff said
Girish Dec 02, 2011 08:08pm
Yes, the bait's been taken.......
ragsd Dec 02, 2011 08:10pm
Yes, yes, shameless pakistanis!!! try to funnel some money out of it!!
Hassam Dec 02, 2011 08:27pm
I agree with the hyper patriotism clouding sanity part by the author but have reservations with regards to the comparison used when comparing the reaction to the NATO strikes. Equating NATO strikes to the GHQ attack or Mehran base is wrong because one is by a declared enemy and the other is by a declared ally. When an enemy attacks you in war, it is understandable and you expect to react accordingly by attacking them back. When an ally attacks you(assuming without accident), it is far less understandable, and then you can not attack back either, thus the nation reacts differently by going in a hyper patriotic mode. I think it's a reasonable reaction to vent out anger instead of actually attacking back.
Mohammed Hassanali Dec 02, 2011 08:38pm
Your question should be directed to the Pakistan Army and not the author. What is the point in commenting if you can't understand what the author is trying to say?
Ghazanfar Ahmed Dec 02, 2011 09:14pm
The Pakistani response I think has been very measured and reasonable. An American response would have been swifter, harsher and overwhelmingly dis-porportianate, and ultimately counter-productive. I think Pakistan will be able to squeeze more funds from the Americans and actually may re-negotiate the whole re-imbursemnt agreement for Pakistan's favour.
Sean Dec 02, 2011 09:26pm
Very well said. As long as we have people like you who can think and reason. We might be able to save Pakistan.
kgaipal Dec 02, 2011 10:05pm
I like the patriotism part... its same everywhere.....
dr. qazi Dec 02, 2011 10:11pm
Imran Sahib, We did cut off NATO supplies in the past. Just FYI.
Mir Imran Dec 02, 2011 10:12pm
With all due respect lets not live in a illusion; if US cuts its financial and military aid to our country we may not live to see the consequences. please wake-up and smell the coffee.
FakeBook Dec 02, 2011 10:52pm
These are unprecedented steps.......nice joke. Let them dry out then it will start to hurt......who will get hurt? Just sit back and wait for the consequences......why wait?
Sultan Rizvi Dec 02, 2011 11:09pm
I do not agree with the writer, because accepting the unprovoked (and intentional) brutal attack on Pakistani Post without taking any practical steps would only encourage NATO/ISAF to go ahead with such aggressions. I am sure that next days and weeks would prove that Pakistan's reaction was right.
Ronnie Dsouza Dec 02, 2011 11:53pm
Mr. Fazal, you have completely misunderstood the writer. I believe he has a very intellectual mind and I do agree with his article, especially if you read this line "The way Pakistan has reacted to the killing of 24 soldiers by Nato air strikes is the most recent case in point, following the Memogate scandal. Granted it’s intolerable and unacceptable that our so-called allies should attack our army posts, but while our military is able to take armed assaults on the GHQ and the Mehran Naval Base from home-grown militants with some calm, western forces attacking our soldiers is somehow much more outrageous. Similarly, hundreds killed in American drone attacks, mostly terrorists, is more disgraceful than over 20,000 civilian lives lost, including those of women and children, in terrorist attacks on shrines, mosques, schools and in the bazaars. Were those not the sons and daughters of Pakistan, who were killed not in the line of duty defending their country on remote hilltops but whilst going about their daily, innocent routine in our cities? They were not even in the war zone, where bloody accidents can happen". Nobody, and you too, Mr. Fazal, talk about the home-grown terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan, have attacked our Armed Personnel and I fail to understand the silence of you guys.
jackmohan Dec 03, 2011 12:02am
then go eat grass for the next 1000 years as one of your leader said
Aneeta Dec 03, 2011 12:16am
Pakistan should have attended the Bonn and advocated its stance rationally! Very well written... i hope our political actors get to read this.
Ahn Dec 03, 2011 12:28am
I disagree with the writer point of view. what do u want to say that we attend Bonn Cnfrence and just protest ??? No body is saying we should attack their post across the border but the current response is suited at this stage. it is easy to make comments from ur desks .. and giving ur life for ur country is beyond the call of duty so dont try to undermine their sacrifice.
saj Dec 03, 2011 01:56am
Very bad article- we should rather die then live as slaves and last time I checked we are not at war with NATO so y they attack us?
sajid Dec 03, 2011 02:00am
I dident know we are at war with NATO? Y they attacking our forces? We should live with our head high and not like slaves
Khalid Dec 03, 2011 02:46am
Is a mere Sorry enough to wash the tears in the eyes of weeping mothers?
Rajesh Dec 03, 2011 02:48am
Well written piece. Was Pakistan already looking for reasons to boycott Bonn and this incident became handy?
Yasir Dec 03, 2011 03:02am
" but while our military is able to take armed assaults on the GHQ and the Mehran Naval Base from home-grown militants with some calm, western forces attacking our soldiers is somehow much more outrageous." I understand the writers point but I would also think that the reason Pakistan shows more anger to attacks carried out by NATO is because it's like being stabbed in the back by someone who claims to be your ally. It's seen like an act of betrayal. On the other hand, the Pakistani Taliban and militants openly classify themselves as the enemy. Taking the news that your countrymen died at the hands of your enemy is much easier to accept as you can expect nothing more from them. When the unexpected happens, like these soldiers dying at the hands of NATO, that comes as more of a shock, hence the comparatively more outrage and anger.
Lakshmidhar Malaviya Dec 03, 2011 03:45am
Excellent! But I am afraid, in the present charged atmosphere, this sane advice shall fall on collectively deaf ears! Am sadly reminded of the words of poet Malcom Lowry : "When the doomed are most eloquent in their sinking, / It seems we are least strong to save." Lakshmidhar Malaviya, Kyoto, Japan.
Rauf Dec 03, 2011 04:29am
Troops jobs are to defend from militants crossing over the border not getting hit from so called Friendly Fire of NATO forces when they knew the post is there occupied by Pakistani Forces. It was a good DRAWING ROOM article meant for distortion of facts and figures. Writer has mentioned one side of the picture what about the other side........... I would love to see from the writer as hundreds of lives saved by these army men and intelligence officials by foiling the terrorist activities, No Credit or article was written about them just ready to disgrace only. Warm Regards
NAS Dec 03, 2011 04:31am
Nice Article...I feel Pak is destroying itself. More people are killed by the terrorists in Pak.
Farouk Dec 03, 2011 05:17am
Mr Razvi is missing a very simple point - "Blatant disregard of soverignity" of a country. A nation at some point has to wake up and reaccess its future. There were plenty of Razvi types during the British rule of the subcontinent. I was shocked by his "very subtle and carefuly couched" disrespect for the fallen soldiers.
Jibran Dec 03, 2011 05:56am
The article while well thought out yet overlooks a simple point i.e. there is a different between
C.Shaykher Dec 03, 2011 06:10am
Brilliant Analysis . Wish people with such balanced mind were leading Pakistan . That would be good for pakostan and rest of the world .
Jawed Shami Dec 03, 2011 06:30am
argue that anger will not take U anywhere whereas U can accomplish a lot while talking with each other. Closing all doors will eventually hurt Pakistan in the long run. I know our politicians and PPP establishment is intellectually challenged and they are not thinking for Pakistan but just playing with emotions.
Rashid Zaidi, Ca. US Dec 03, 2011 06:37am
Razvi sahib, is right. Instead of behaving like a kid, we should have taken part in the Bonn conference. We could have put our case across the people concerned and gained friends. What is more astounding is that for two hours the helicopters and jets straffed and bombed those border post. Where was Pakistan's response. why did they not scramble some jets at least to check it out.
jawed Shami Dec 03, 2011 06:38am
I think not going to Bonn conference is unwise and plain foolish. This will further isolate Pakistan. I would argue that anger will not take U anywhere whereas U can accomplish a lot while talking with each other. Closing all doors will eventually hurt Pakistan in the long run. I know our politicians and PPP establishment is intellectually challenged and they are not thinking for Pakistan but just playing with emotions.
Noor Chaudhry Dec 03, 2011 06:40am
Well, You should not wonder, because Pak-Army is so re-lax that they did not request the air support in this episode, whereas this attack was going on over 2-3 hours. what it tells you lack of communication at the difficult time on the front line. Why Pak-Army is relaxed? Because, they believe that NATO & the USA is their ally not foe. whereas it proved other way around. Noor. from Canada
Farooqui Dec 03, 2011 06:46am
While I agree to the fact that one should act in a sane manner, I would also like to point out there time when words take the back seat while the actions speak. I am also for the fact that this should not be limited to the 24 soldiers but we should take up the matter of drone attacks as well as they too are our brothers and sisters and have every right that the army or anyone else has. The boycott is a good move, who are we kidding here? Will they listen to us? Just like they listened to us in the past. The so called logical arguments can be communicated to them via diplomatic channels like the embassy here. Thirdly, I wonder why is everyone so concerned about the attack being truly in persuit of terrorists or not. The fact remains that they were in our area and have killed 24 soldiers and it is not the first time this has happened. We, as a nation, need to decide what we want out of this co-operation.
Asif Dec 03, 2011 07:34am
I would go as far as to say that the soldiers were put in the harms way by the Generals to "sacrifice a few for the good of all". Now they have the moral ammo to push NATO into a retreat.
usama Dec 03, 2011 07:34am
I agree to some of the points raised especially the inappropriate use of patriotism, but lets not ignore the fact that Pakistan wants to draft new policies towards war on so called terror. The incident, similar to the Raymond Davis episode, backed by patriotism provides a vital opportunity to Pakistan to redraw/reshape its alliance with west which will eventually run away and leave the mess for Pakistan to take care of. Please appreciate the fact that Pakistan is in a better negotiation position, especially after Russia’s claim that they will stop NATO supply as well. I wish the decision makers find the will and courage to do the right thing, once for all.. ofcourse using the patriotism of ignorant men and women without uniform.
Raoul Dec 03, 2011 08:06am
Pakistan's sovereignity is the new found catch phrase since Osama was found close to the cantonment town living next to the military. The army has lost face due to Mehran and Abbottabad. Martyrs are dead and gone, so cannot speak for themselves, convenient to use them for foreign policy via jingoism, who cares about sensible national policy.
Nasah (USA) Dec 03, 2011 08:24am
It is interesting that no moral outrage in Pakistan occurs when the Talibans deliberately target and kill innocent army cadets and law enforcement personnel in droves -- but when the NATO accidentally hits the army border camps it raises such a countrywide raucous. Bonn is not for Afghans and the NATO only it is essentially to prevent such border killings on the Pakistan side as well. It is a monumental folly of mount K2 proportions for Pakistani diplomacy not to present its just case before the World Forum. Has the country lost its faith in world diplomacy -- or does it think war with West is the solution?
Peter Dec 03, 2011 08:44am
what you say is politically correct. I think the army saw the Bonn conference would be used to corner the army, not a resolution of the Afghanistan problem. The army has a pov on Afghanistan, the West or the US and its allies are not comfortable with. Sending civilians to Bonn and then try and manage them from behind the scene would have been whole lot difficult than making a deal with the US behind the scenes. I think the army just wants a deal and that is what they are gunning for. Will the US give in? I think yes, partially due to various other factors.
J. Chaudry Dec 03, 2011 08:52am
If some one has got it all wrong, it’s for sure, Murtaza Razvi. Razvi is simply paddling “do more”. Has Pakistan not suffered enough due to the fraudulent American war? Now is the time that Pakistan must get itself out of this hoax, called, ‘war on terror’ which is in fact war of terror being waged not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan. Irrespective of who was write or wrong and how and why the American attack took place, the question is what is Pakistan’s gain by being in this American war. What a pity, Razvi wants the Americans to carry on the drone attacks on Pakistani people while using Pakistani air strip. The main reason for the terrorism in Pakistan is the reaction of the FATA people against the drone attacks, supported by people like Razvi. J. Chaudry
Tariq Dec 03, 2011 09:32am
I think putting across Pakistan's case on an International forum such as Bonn would have been the best response, as Murtaza has very wisely suggested. The reason why Pakistan's voice gets ignored is because our foreign Service etc. are manned by incompetent 'sifarishi' buffoons who can not articulate and meaningful sentence.
Tariq Dec 03, 2011 09:37am
Excellent article. Totally agree with it. I wish we had some competent people in the Government. What does Pakistan and Pakistanis need right now? Isnt it education, good governance, economic prsperity and security of life, limb and property? Or is it to fight a war with NATO and the US?
kamran Dec 03, 2011 10:27am
Well said mr. Razvi. Pakistanis are great at bravado, and talk a lot about intangibles such as 'ghairat' (pride) 'izzat' (respect) but do the reality is that we are a bankrupt country propped up by our benefactors in the West. Its all good to beat your chest and stand up for yourself but only if you have the wherewithal to look your opponent in the eye. In a country where the elite don't want to pay their taxes, have parked their money outside of the country and where the military's raison-de-etre is to usurp its frugal resources, Pakistan really can't play hardball with the country that gives it sustenance. Sad but true my fellow countrymen.
Syed Salman Ahmed Gi Dec 03, 2011 11:05am
Dont you know the history. They are the enemy at the gate just like the crusaders from the past with camps outside the castle. We have suffered enough. I think the army is giving the right message. The government is a pack of corrupt wolves and are incapable of taking right decisions for the future of the country. The USA i waging unfair wars in muslim lands and you want words to counter their crimes against humanity. Millions killed so far for what ???????? Did they conduct any inquiries before waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq. All were assumptions and millions were decimated. No matter what the internal conflicts may be but we need to send a signal accross that we shall fight and die till the last drop of blood rather than cut ourselves with the axes handed by them i.e co-operation in the so called war on terror. May Allah have mercy on us. Ameen
Vijay Dec 03, 2011 11:27am
Very thoughtful analysis!! Countries cannot afford to run their foreign policy on a singular issue. War cries as the first response, without even starting any kind of diplomatic communications either directly or indirectly to address the issues, will make any country and isolated one. As was mentioned in many commnets so far, when US with it's mighty economic and defense power has proved this point, Pakistan with it's economy on the brink, can ill afford to go down that path. Hope saner minds will prevail in Pakistan's defense establishment and allow government to use diplomacy to resolve issues with US/NATO.
zahid Dec 03, 2011 11:43am
I donot agree with the writer. If Pak doesnt take tough action against this agression. It will demoralize the Pak army, which is the strongest institution in Pak. It wil b an incentive to the psychological war being waged against Pak. civilians were killed by terrorist and drone attacks and govt haven't take any action against that. It resulted in the loss of hope and demoralisation among the Pakistani public. If same silence is repeated, when it comes to killing of military personals, that also by foreign military(nato). It will result in the demoralisation and mistrust between the Army and Political institutions and that is wht U.S. wants to do before invading Pak directly.
Shanken Dec 03, 2011 12:00pm
OK Imran & Fazal Sahib, We've boycotted Bonn & stopped supplies. Shamsi was anyway not being used. Now what? What if Obama still doesnt grovel at our feet? Or they find an alternative route? Or , which is most likely, supplies restart quietly? Without anyone wiser. What is your plan? Or we will just wait and watch.
VINOD Dec 03, 2011 12:05pm
An excellent and analytic article. I agree that "In Pakistan, patriotism is an organised affair, managed and overseen by state institutions through their beneficiaries, lackeys and the right wing lobby as and when the need arises. We have a long history of patriotism of the negative variety only, which oscillates between anti-India and anti-US/West rhetoric." In the present charged atmosphere people may not listen to reason but I would like to point out a news item in today's Dawn that says " Defence Department press secretary George Little said the US asked Pakistan to be part of the investigation, but the Pakistanis have ''elected to date'' not to participate. " It may be worth pondering why Pakistan is refusing to be part of Bonn conference and the inquiry about killing of soldiers in gunship attack. Is there any thing to hide or the truth may not serve the purpose.
Watchman Dec 03, 2011 12:16pm
Weeping mothers? There are so many of them. Soldiers had weapons to fight back, there are so many who were killed unarmed in bombings
BS Murthy Dec 03, 2011 01:23pm
It's a point to ponder.
mazhar khan Dec 03, 2011 10:49pm
It has been well publicised that the US has injected a large sum of money into the pak media to curtail anti-American stories. Patriotism is irrelevant in this case. I am an Indian Muslim. The US has time and time violated pak sovereignty and pak is paralysed to do anything. Its political system has failed and needs to be replaced with caliphate.
BRR Dec 04, 2011 01:50am
There seems to be no policy driving such responses, only emotions that are easily manipulated by the army via its media stooges. Fanning hatred is not a new phenomenon, striving for a sane response is neither possible nor anticipated by a riled up public. Spewing vitriol on the west and India cannot make Pakistan achieve its goals.